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Thread: Handlebar width

  1. #1
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    Handlebar width

    I'm having some trouble finding what the best handlebar width is for me.. I've looked around and a lot of the advice i hear coming from people is that a bar should be around 70cm + or - (more on the plus side). i'm a xc racer and have mostly ridden bike with bars around 60cm but I recently bought a set of easton havens because i wanted to see if wider bars would help me get a little more out of myself. I had them cut to around 67cm. I spent a couple days in utah and while i was there i felt the bars were incredible, but now that i'm back home (cent cali) they just feel like overkill. Whenever i'm in a steady climb i can't get into a good rhythm (i like to bob) because my arms are so far apart. I'm sure there is some kind of test someone could suggest that could help me figure out the bar that's going to be best for me. or maybe i should just stay at 60cm who knows

  2. #2
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    This is entirely personal preference. It is dependent on terrain, riding style, body type, etc.

    Personally, I like to run 785-800 mm bars, but I'm 6'4 with a DH mentality.
    Check out www.zencyclery.com for fully customizable, handbuilt wheels.

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  3. #3
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    I probably should've probably put a little about my body type and riding style also.. i'm around 5 ten and 130 lbs.. i'm more of a spinner than a power rider so i probably don't rely on leverage as much as some other riders.. I understand it's personal preference much like i seat, i'd just like to hear some opinions though

  4. #4
    29er
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    5'7" here
    i could never run a 600mm
    i have a 685 right now
    and probably getting a 740mm bar soon

  5. #5
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    I'm 5'4" and use 720mm.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by block_xc View Post
    I'm having some trouble finding what the best handlebar width is for me.. I've looked around and a lot of the advice i hear coming from people is that a bar should be around 70cm + or - (more on the plus side). i'm a xc racer and have mostly ridden bike with bars around 60cm but I recently bought a set of easton havens because i wanted to see if wider bars would help me get a little more out of myself. I had them cut to around 67cm. I spent a couple days in utah and while i was there i felt the bars were incredible, but now that i'm back home (cent cali) they just feel like overkill. Whenever i'm in a steady climb i can't get into a good rhythm (i like to bob) because my arms are so far apart. I'm sure there is some kind of test someone could suggest that could help me figure out the bar that's going to be best for me. or maybe i should just stay at 60cm who knows
    Over the past 12 years my bars have grown steadily from 580mm to 720mm. The only downside I can think of is that bar ends became useless with a really wide bar, but I really don't miss them. Other then that I have seen no downside, even in climbing, and I am considering going wider. The only limiting factor I can see is that it is pretty tight tree-wise around here, and I have clipped my bars a couple times over the last year, though only one wreck has resulted, and that was when I first put these 720s on.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  7. #7
    Rod
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    running 580 mm bars on my 29er... trees are too tight where I ride for those wide bars. I'm 6'0 160 lbs. and I ride aggressive. I've used these in pisgah, races, and anything. They work for me. Everyone is different though. If it isn't broke don't fix it.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  8. #8
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    I remember when I first bought really wide bars for my dirtbike, I thought I would hit every tree. It turned out to give so much more control that I rarely ever hit trees. I am hoping for the same result with the 785mm bars I picked up today at Veloswap. It's easy to make them shorter, not so easy to make them longer.

  9. #9
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    Currently running a 710mm, I feel it is a good compromise between control and still fitting between the tight stuff. I was pretty happy with the 690mm that came on my bike stock, but I needed a little bit of a rise anyway and also a shorter stem, going wider on the bars helped negate the little twitch/touchiness I got when I swapped a 30mm shorter stem.

    Everybody is different, buy a wide bar and chop 'em till you find a good fit for you. Almost all of them come with reference marks now for easy, accurate cutting.

  10. #10
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    Went to a 700mm this XC season. Anything smaller seems too small. I absolutely love it. I have to pucker up a bit in a couple sections to squeeze in but only once have I not fit and it was more of a hiking path.

    Go 680 or 700!

  11. #11
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    sometimes a change in bar width needs a change in stem length too. I've been playing around for the last 6 months till i finally found (i think) my sweet spot, now to my surprise i've changed all my bikes to the same distances (seat to bars,bottom bracket to bars and seat height) and am really happy with the fit on all them! I,m 6' with a 30 " inseam and am running 692 mm bars
    “An adventure is misery and discomfort, relived in the safety of reminiscence.” Marco Polo

  12. #12
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    I've heard that one way to tell is to do some push ups and the width from the outside of your palms is a good place to start. That said, I run 580s but measure 680. I may switch, but it's not that important to me. I'm pretty used to what I have.

  13. #13
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    700mm rise bar that came with my new bike.
    I`ll stay with these for a while.

  14. #14
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    I'm still running the stock 710mm bar on my '13 Mamba, but broke a finger slamming into a tree about a month ago. Narrow gap, but probably taking a bad line more than anything caused it. But now I feel like I'm really twitchy in tight gaps, so I'm thinking of downsizing a bit. Maybe something around 680mm or so. Not a huge difference (because I like the general feeling of control with the wider bar), but maybe enough for "mental comfort" in tighter spaces.

  15. #15
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    I'm running a 710mm bar on my latest toy which is pushing it, any wider and I'd have busted knuckles. For some sick reason around here they like to route techy lines through the tightest trees, frequently they just won't fit through.

  16. #16
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    i used those two tricks to find my handle bar width

    1
    - raise your arms on the side of your body, until parallel to the group.
    - turn your forearm 90 degree forward
    - measure distance elbow to elbow

    handlebars should not be larger than the measure you get.



    2
    -stand up straight, with your legs and back rigid, feet 10 inches apart.
    drop forward, keeping your body rigid and your feet stuck in place (like doing push ups)
    measure the distance between the center of your hands.

    handlebars should not be smaller than the measure you get.

  17. #17
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    Tech Tuesday - Handlebar width

    Easy way to figure it out. By a wide bar and just move the controls around to find out what works for you. Then trim.

  18. #18
    hold my beer & watch this
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    I run at 625mm - but it is a personal preference thing - I prefer not to hit the bars on things as I cut the corners a little tight.

    Have not really had a problem working the bike at this bar dimension, so I don't think more leverage is needed.

    Again, personal preference, get a long bar and cut as needed.

  19. #19
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    I'm 5'11, 133lbs. using 620mm and 90mm stem. its twitchy but I like it especially on a 29er. i find that if my front wheel is digging into the sand or sliding, being able to turn it fast gets me out of trouble.

  20. #20
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    I'm at 610 right now and it feels about perfect. The bike came with a 700mm bar and it felt way too wide. I was knocking trees left and right.
    2012 Scott Scale Expert 29

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